English notes - Sonnet 73 (poem)

I have spent weeks refining down my notes on my poems for the Higher English exams, this document is the result of that. I thought I'd share them as it is often very difficult to get any concise information on poems.

These notes are a scaled down to the point set of notes on the poem: Sonnet 73 by William Shakespeare

What is covered?:
• Close look at stanzas
• What the poem is about
• Meter
• Rhyme scheme
• Structure
• Theme
• Metaphors
• Repetition
• Contrast

How to use this file?:
On the first page the arrows link to the text in the second column which expand on what these lines mean.

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  • Created by: Visser
  • Created on: 08-05-10 18:19

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Page 1

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That time of year thou mayst in me behold

When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang

Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,

Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.

In me thou see'st the twilight of such day

As after…

Page 2

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As 'black night' closes in around the remaining light of the day, so too does death close in around the poet.
Connotates death.
Imagery of sealing a tomb.
Soft alliteration repeated, contains the poet's affection for that which is being lost.
Death not explicitly mentioned


Page 3

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No enjambment, no caesura, no alliteration: set apart, pace slowing, more contemplative ­ accepting the harsh reality
of death. Slowed, more peaceful, less grim.
(Couplet): Iambic pace immediately broken, further slows the pace: peaceful

THEME ­ DEATH: Developed through a series of metaphors

Death of…


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